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An App for Distributed Electric Vehicle Charging

| Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 10, 2011 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

A new iPhone app is networking electric vehicle owners, letting them share their outlets to expand the charging options for new plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars. 

On Monday, Xatori released PlugShare, a free iPhone app that lets drivers and outlet owners locate and offer electricity.

“We want to break down that barrier in people’s minds about where it’s acceptable to charge,” said Armen Petrosian, Xatori’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “We think the infrastructure to charge is everywhere.” [emphasis added]

Drivers can punch in their destination to see the availability of shared outlets as well as public charging stations along their route.

People who want to share their electricity indicate what type of outlet or charger they have, how to gain access and their preferred method of contact. Given that most outlets are located in locked garages or otherwise behind closed doors, Xatori expects plug sharers will ask drivers to schedule a time to charge by calling or sending a text message.

A great illustration of how distributed resources can help meet a new technological need.  For more on electric vehicles (in the Midwest), check out our 2009 scoping report, Electric Vehicle Policy For the Midwest – A Scoping Document.

Update 3/16/11: Google added EV charging stations to Google Maps.

About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power. More

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